Wood Prairie Farm
 The Seed Piece Newsletter
             Organic News and Commentary
                     Friday, January 23, 2015
                        Volume 21 Issue 2

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 In This Issue of The Seed Piece:

    Winter Bottoming Out.

     The Depths of Winter. Statistically, year-in, year-out, this week is known to be Winter’s coldest.  Here in Maine, last week was actually colder than we experienced this week, with a couple of mornings in the -20ºF to -25ºF range (that would be still air temperature and not wind chill). 
     It turns out last week Jim missed that cold because he was in New Orleans for the Winter Conference of the Direct Gardening Assn (DGA).  That Monday, right before he was headed out the door to drive 300 miles south to the airport in Portland, he was called by Richie Allen in Manchester, England, who wanted to record an interview for Radio Free Europe.   The day was the eve of the scheduled vote in the European Parliament to permit individual countries to allow farmers to plant GE crops. 
     What advice Jim had to offer – learn from the mistakes we have made in America and steer clear of genetically engineered (GE) crops – was sadly not followed by a majority of the Parliament members.  You can hear what Jim had to say about why avoid GE crops, and why serving the people is good business, in the next article below.

 Jim & Megan Gerritsen & Family
 Wood Prairie Farm
 Bridgewater, Maine

Click here for the Wood Prairie Farm Home Page.

The Richie Allen Show Interview with Jim Gerritsen.

     Wood Prairie Farm’s Jim Gerritsen recently spoke (23:53) with Talk Radio Europe host Richie Allen in Manchester, England.  Jim is a founding member of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn (OSGATA) and he now serves as President.

     OSGATA is the national membership trade organization concerned with developing, protecting and promoting organic seed.  OSGATA served as lead plaintiff in the landmark federal lawsuit OSGATA et al v. Monsanto in which family farmers sought both court protection from Monsanto abuse and the opportunity to legally challenge the validity of transgenic seed patents issued to Monsanto by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

     In the interview, Jim talks about the threat from GE crops and the vote in the European Parliament which for the first time will allow - on a country-by-country basis - farmers to plant genetically-engineered crops.  In no uncertain terms, Jim warns that Europe should not follow the dangerous and reckless path towards GE agriculture that the U.S. has traveled down.

Jim & Megan

Click Here for Wood Prairie Farm’s Maine Certified Organic Seed Potatoes.


Special Offer: Special Flat Rate Shipping Offer.

In Harmony. Good food, good farming and good planet are interconnected and achievable.

Winning the Great Food War.

     Truth-Out has published this powerful must read article entitled How the Great Food War Will Be Won.  Excellent reading!

     In the article, Biotech’s bogus ‘feeding-the-starving-masses’ focus-group-generated propaganda campaign is exposed and dismantled for the fraud it is.

     One should begin with the primal lesson about Monsanto: Believe absolutely nothing Monsanto says.  With that truth firmly established in mind, you may properly assimilate the content of this article.  It explains the reality behind the Biotech self-congratulatory schtick of serving the oppressed of the world.

     Carefully and relentlessly deploying the baseless feeding-the-masses orchestration, Monsanto has concocted the one sophisticated talking point which - if believed by well-intentioned, compassionate Americans – trumps our legitimate rejection of GE crops.

     "It is their Golden Fact and their universal calling card. And as far as neutrals are concerned it wins the food system debate hands down, because it says, if any other farming system cannot feed the world, it is irrelevant. Only agribusiness can do that. Yet this strategy has a disastrous foundational weakness. There is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be."

     If you get to just one thing today, please do read and share this important expose’ widely.


Jim & Megan

Click Here for Our Wood Prairie farm Certified Organic Vegetable Seed.

Notable Quotes: Václav Havel on Solutions.

Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl Cake.
Photo by Angela Wotton
Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl Cake.

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c roasted or canned pumpkin
3 oz dark chocolate, melted
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Fold in pumpkin. Add wet ingredients to dry all at once, whisk just until no lumps remain.
Divide batter in half. Add melted chocolate and cocoa powder to half the batter; stir to combine. Alternately add batters to pan. Using a knife, swirl through batter. Bake 50-60 minutes until cake has risen and crackled. Let cool 20 minutes.

Our Mailbox: Time to Plant and A Right to Grow.

Time to Plant.

Dear WPF.

     I live in New York and I am planning to plant poatoes in my garden next spring. When should I place the order? Do you have a shipping schedule for seed potatoes depending which area they go to? Our last frost date is May 10th.


New York, NY

WPF Replies.

     I suggest you order now while selection is the greatest - we will be selling out. We are happy to store your order here and ship to you when desired. We ship most orders to NY state at the end of March, but we are able to ship later (or earlier) should you so desire.
     Since potatoes normally take 2-3 weeks to emerge out of the soil and are tough and hardy down to a freeze of 28-29ºF, one may plant as early as 10-14 days before the last expected Spring freeze (colder than a frost). Another way to time potato planting is plant them two weeks after peas are planted.
     On Wood Prairie Farm we pay close attention to soil temperature. We like to plant our green-sprouted seed tubers when the soil temperature at a four-inch-depth (@7-8am) reaches 50ºF. Wound healing of the cut seed tuber surface will not occur at soil temperatures below 45ºF, so planting in soil that is too cold is very risky, especially in a wet spring.
     If you'd like to recieve a print catalog please send your snail mail address. Otherwise, as you likely know, here is our website: www.woodprairie.com.

A Right to Grow.

Dear WPF.

"Organic Ready" Corn Aims to Prevent GMO Contamination. Do this for all GE Crops! There is hope!


WPF Replies.

     Frank Kutka's work is very important and will be especially valuable for corn growing in the Upper Plains. However, it does not represent the entire answer. Many farmers - ourselves included - in a vast number of regions are growing seed corn well-adapted to our own areas. Many of these varieties are valuable heirlooms. All represent tremendous genetic diversity. What we need - what the world needs - is for Biotech to be held accountable and to be restrained and prevented from their practice of contamination of neighboring crops. We have a right to grow our varieties on our farms free from transgenic contamination.


 Jim & Megan Gerritsen
 Wood Prairie Farm
 49 Kinney Road
 Bridgewater, Maine 04735
 (800)829-9765 Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm